ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Home Sweet Home! Parting is such sweet sorrow from New Caledonia!

Hi my friends!

My two weeks in New Caledonia was over in a flash. How amazing travelling the length and breadth of this beautiful land and meeting lovely people. It certainly is a French-speaking country, with virtually no-one speaking English. But we got by. Not saying my French improved overly, as it takes two weeks to get into the groove, but it was certainly lovely to hear that beautiful, musical language reverberating all around me.

Here are some photos from my trip for those of you who didn't follow my travels on good ole FB.

Kanaks welcome the cruise ships with traditional dance and song. I love this as it's pretty much the same as on the tourism website except I own it!

The Grand South, as they call it, was an eye-opener with nickel mines, beautiful bays and old penal colonies. We explored the region with a Kanak guide, Yami, who spoke 7 languages, I repeat 7!! and went to university in Australia. 
In Noumea, my daily focus was always to make sure I ate one of these from Chocolats Morand...
...or one of these Mille Feuilles from La Ville France patisserie. With all that walking I hardly put on an ounce, so was totally guilt free!


Loved catching this group of Kanak students taking their Macca's lunch with the American War Memorial behind them on July Fourth!
It's always about the people you meet. Our stay on the glorious I'le des Pins was the best because of this lovely group from France. We might look a bit scruffy  as we all stayed at a Kanak village together. In case you think it's pretty flash for native village, this is at Le Meridien at the top of the island where we thought a coffee was in order before we jumped back onto the boat.
The Natural Pools on the I'le des Pins, where we snorkled and swam and walked. Gorgeous. Can't capture the absolute jewel-blue of the water or the whiteness of the sand.
This is the top of the island, Haute Tamoa, New Caledonia. So pristine. 

So there you have a few snaps to give you some idea of New Caledonia. A beautiful place to visit as long as you have some French. Most of the touristic places have been returned to the Kanaks (the traditional owners of the land) and you communicate in French or not at all. They're only just introducing English into the school curriculum for the younger years. Currently only taught in secondary school.

So au revoir to this beautiful country.

  • How about you? Been travelling lately? Tell us about it. 
  • Is there somewhere you'd like to travel to, or are your travels vicarious or created in the worlds you write about?



28 comments:

  1. What amazing pictures! The Kanaks look like they use a lot of plants in their dressing/performing. I'm glad you enjoyed the French group. Too bad it was only 2 weeks, right?

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    1. You're right Lexa. They don't waste anything. Yeah, 2 weeks!

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  2. Awesome. Just send me one of those strawberry deserts!!

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    1. I'm missing them more than anything!

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  3. Wow that looks and sounds like an amazing trip, one to remember for ever. And those cakes .... yummy!

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  4. Looks like a fantastic trip, filled with new friends and delicious food, and even a bit of French language improvement.

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  5. Beautiful place! Guilt free eating on vacation is definitely a plus.

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  6. Sure looks like a wonderful place. Can't go wrong with such a trip

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  7. Beautiful photos, Denise. I love it when I find myself in a place where English is hardly spoken. I'm no linguist, but my fondest memories of Europe are those places where we had to get by on schoolboy French and German and the occasional word of Italian.

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    1. It's amazing how we can communicate despite language difficulties Ian. It's all part of the fun and frustration of travelling.

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  8. Beautiful photos, Denise! We got by in Paris with our French and polite Canadian ways, so would try if I ever went there. Looks gorgeous, as does the pastries.

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  9. Lovely places would love to visit. My French is pretty good so should be OK there. Not likely to get there sadly. Enjoyed your photos, here and on FB.

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  10. Hi Denise,

    SIGH.... So lovely... Looks like such an exquisite untouched place. Pure and beautiful.... You are so fortunate to have been there for two weeks...

    I'm leaving back for Florida for just one week on Wednesday. Actually checking out a few place in Orlando, too. South Tampa is just to hard to pin down for me. Properties in the area I want go so quickly and for MORE THAN asking price. So I am bidding against investors who have the cash and i really don't.

    The Orlando market is much slower, so I actually may be able to purchase there. I found a gorgeous place in downtown Orlando, so I still can have my CITY vibe but on a smaller scale than Tampa.

    I am also GEARING UP for the SCBWI... It will be AWESOME... meeting some blogger friends and hope to LEARN a lot more than I have so far. I am actually doing a workshop and jumped back into Amber.... Don't cringe, LOL. I FINALLY figured out what was wrong and I have changed almost EVERYTHING ... Just sticking with the basic plot/story. Amber is now Wyndyllyn ,,, Wyndy of short. New title... Wyndyllyn Sparks- AKA Protector of the Whispering Willows.

    We shall see....

    Safe travels home!

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    1. Thanks Michael! So much happening. Don't worry. It'll work out. No, I didn't cringe. I'm doing much the same with Fijian Princess. We'll get there!

      Safe trip!

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    2. You know we will!!!! Thanks!

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  11. I so enjoyed all your photos on FB, and now I get to see them again! So lovely. Now I have to wipe the drool from my chin over those luscious pastries :)

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  12. I like how you think - having a daily focus on eating little cakes is the sign of a smart lady :-)

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  13. i have to admit I've never heard of New Caledonia until i read this post. it looks very neat!

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  14. That is what I call having your cake and eating it too! :-)

    Gorgeous photos.

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  15. You've made me add this place to somewhere I'd like to go!. Thanks and I loved the pictures you posted today.

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  16. Thanks for sharing all your photos...sounds an awesome time!

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  17. Hi Denise - looks absolutely amazing ... so pleased you had this opportunity to visit - and to learn lots too ... and walking eats the calories you've just consumed ... gosh they do look good ... cheers and welcome back - Hilary

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  18. Fabulous photos, Denise! And what a gorgeous visit you had. Outside of stuffy history books, yours are the first photos/narrative I've seen/read of what can only be an intriguing country to explore. The toes on my traveling shoes are tapping!! (And I couldn't resist those pastries either.) Don't want the year to pass too quickly but I'm also eager to see where you're going next!

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    1. Maybe we could meet up there Kittie. Only 2 hours by plane for me. Enjoy Amsterdam!

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  19. Nice wrap up for a truly magical journey. Love all the photos. I can't believe I missed this - head in the clouds I guess. Oh and did I mention I just awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award. I know, what else do you have to do? :) But truly, I don't think I know a more versatile blogger than you!

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    1. Aw shucks! I will do my versatile post soon as...

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